Gracias y adiós, querido amigo!
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Santiago García Echevarria was a mentor, academic partner of FAU WiSo and other German universities since decades, colleague, and a close friend. Born in 1934 in Bilbao, he had doctorates from the University of Cologne (Prof. Erich Gutenberg) and the Complutense University in Madrid. He was a lecturer at the Universidad Comercial de Deusto in Bilbao and at the Complutense in Madrid. He held the Chair of Business Economy at the University of Barcelona and this same Chair at the University of Alcalá. He collaborated in the planning and development of the Universidad de Educación a Distancia in Madrid. He was also a member of the Steering Committee which developed the University of Alcalá and was Founding Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences at Alcalá.
Prof. Dr. García Echevarría was Director of the Instituto de Dirección y Organización de Empresa (IDOE) at the University of Alcalá. He was also President of the Asociación Alexander von Humboldt España and member of the Consejo Consultivo de Privatizaciones (CCP). As Professor Emeritus of the University of Alcalá MBA and Honorary Professor, he was also Ambassador Scientist of the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung – a position which meant a lot to him in the last years.
He was a council member of the Centre Européen pour le Management Stratégic des Universités (ESMU) in Brussels and of the Brussels Initiative, and was President and Co-founder of ACEDE (Asociación Cientifica de Economía y Dirección de la Empresa). He was also President and Co-founder of IFSAM (International Federation of Scholarly Associations of Management).
In the business sector, Santiago García Echevarría started with the Banco de Bilbao, moving later to the Unión Española de Explosivos and then becoming Managing Director of Demag Equipos Industriales. He played an active part in many business transformation processes in Spain – and later he was willing to share his experiences with younger colleagues.
He has published a huge number of books and articles in various languages and has given lectures and seminars within the fields of business and the socio-economic order in a wide variety of different circles.
He participated in the design and performance of the MBA program of Alcala University and the Siemens Management Learning Programme S4 and S5 in collaboration with the Alcalá University.
Santiago devoted his professional life to bringing people together, especially from Spain and Germany. FAU WiSo honored him for this achievement with an Honorary Doctorate in 1995, in 2008 he was awarded with the Large Federal Cross of Merit of Germany.
Having an extended lunch with Santiago was an unforgettable experience for all who had the honor to attend – listening to his experiences, his precise analyses, his valuable advices. His last publication in the “Documentos a debate”-Series, published in May 2023, was dedicated to his lifelong colleague and friend, Prof. Horst Albach. Friendships like this are forged in heaven.
In October 2023, Santiago Garcia Echevarria sadly passed away at the age of 89. He always closed his letters, messages and emails with greetings “…y un cordial abrazo de su buen amigo Santiago”. We all lost a dear friend, we will miss him sorely. Gracias y adiós, querido amigo!